As requested, here is a quick summary of my talk from the #Blognix14 blogging conference held on Saturday 14th June 2014.
Brand Like You Mean It: Actionable Steps To Building a Blog Brand by Elizabeth Sellers (Blognix, Rosalilium and Blogging Bootcamp)
What is a brand?
A brand is more than just a logo, colour, font or product. A brand is a feeling.
Think about some of the biggest brands in the world right now: Apple, Coca-Cola, Google, McDonalds, Disney, BMW, Amazon, Nike, Ikea … Whilst their logos are iconic in our memory, they also invoke a feeling, memory and nostalgia. This is because these brands all have incredibly strong brand values.
At its core a brand is how people feel about you and associate with your product or service.
So a brand consists of a number of elements: name, logo, colour, font, design, language, tone, images style, modes of communication, and more.
But these elements all rely on the values of our brand.
Your brand values should be consistent in every single thing that you do.
Why is a brand is important to blogging?
Branding your blog helps to carry your message. It elevates your blog recognition value. And signals a strong position of who and what your blog is all about.
Statistically speaking your blog is a small fish and very busy and overcrowded pond. There are millions of blogs out there on the internet, with thousands of new ones starting every day. So if you want to stand out and you want to make a success of your blog, you need to get yourself a strong brand.
To be a successful blogger you need a strong brand
Examples of great branded blogs
– A Beautiful Mess
I’ve been reading this blog since 2010 and watched as Elsie and Emma turned from a small but successful online handmade shop, to a local vintage shop to a hugely successful online lifestyle brand. And the key to this success has been the branding. Sisters, Elsie and Emma, are experts at branding. They understand exactly what their brand values are and that infiltrates every single thing that they do. They are planning pros and are phenomenally successful bloggers, now employing a team of people to help run their blog and business.
Carrie has been blogging for years and very quickly understood the importance of her niche and brand. She has managed to consistently work on a very specific style of fashion blogging and is now a successful full-time professional blogger.
This blog is written by Artemis and is a very personal and beautiful blog about her family, with her husband Nao and daughter Pehr. Whilst the blog is separate, they do run their own jewellery company and the blog feeds nicely into their work. Running as both a commentary and reinforcing their values. Their blog focuses on beautiful, handmade, simplicity. And this strong brand message has carried through for years and helped build their business to a point where they were able to move to the Isle of Wight to start a family home for their daughter.
How to find your blog brand
First of all you need to nail down the niche and overall theme of your blog. What category do you want to classify your blog in? Are there any sub-categories? Who is your target audience? What makes your blog unique?
Choose 3 to 5 words to summarise your blog brand. Do those words carry through all of your blog and social media presence?
How do you want others to feel about your blog?
Write all these ideas down. Spend a good period of time brainstorming and writing. You will soon see a pattern and that pattern can be simplified into your brand values.
What key parts of your personality do you think you would add to your brand?
Work out what you are by what you are not.
Write a brand mission statement.
And possibly, most important, use an editorial calendar to keep your content ‘on brand’.
To find your blog brand you must nail your niche and choose your brand values.
How to communicate your brand values
Now you have your brand values. How can you make sure your readers feel the same way about your blog?
Use your brand values – those key words – to inform every decision you make about your blog. Does the overall design of the blog reflect these values?
Write in a tone that reflects your values.
Choose content that only reflects these values.
Share on social media in way that reflects these values.
The best brands have personality, as bloggers we are well placed to stamp our personality directly into our brand.
To build a strong blog brand you must instil your brand values at every point of communication and visibility online.
Hope these blog branding tips help you build a solid brand to communicate exactly who you and what you stand for at every point of communication in your online and offline life.
Be consistent and build trust in those blog brand values